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    Our pick of restaurants that showcase the juicy and sweet ‘grass’ synonymous with Pongal

    If you like the sugarcane rush, but are not so keen on the chewing, there’s hope, with restaurants and bars offering specials created with the seasonal staple. Our pick:

    Jaggery high
    If you’re not up to making the trip down OMR to try the cane shots at Swirl, The Gateway, there’s an alternative closer home. Library Blu at The Leela Palace offers a cocktail made with jaggery. Called Aqua Regia, it also contains tamarind and mango pulp with vodka. Rs 1,500 plus tax. Details: 33661234

    Put up a fight
    Before you step into The Park’s 601 for your fix of kalkandu pongal at their Pongal brunch (Rs 1,200 plus tax) on January 14, do make a quick stop at The Leather Bar. They offer five sugarcane-based cocktails (550 plus tax, January 12-16) crafted especially for the harvest. We like the Bull Fight with vodka, tequila, rum and gin, topped up with sugarcane juice. Details: 42676000

    Welcome change
    Spice Haat at Hyatt Regency has a few specials on their Pongal buffet (January 14, Rs 1,199 plus tax for lunch, Rs 1,333 plus tax for dinner). Part of their spread will be chef Gopi Nandakumar’s variation of pongal, made with rice that’s boiled in a mix of water and sugarcane juice. Details: 61001234

    — Ryan Peppin

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